Professor Damian Bailey, first academic in the UK to be awarded prestigious fellowship in Japan.

Professor Damian Bailey recently visited Toyo University in Japan as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow.

This is was huge accomplishment for the Professor as it is the first time any academic within the ‘Health and Exercise Science’ speciality in the UK has been awarded this prestigious fellowship supported by The Royal Society.

The awarded fellowship, hosted by Prof. O. Shigehiko and his team in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, was designed to bring together world-leading scientists from the UK and Japan to encourage cutting-edge collaborative research.

“As exercise neuroscientists, Prof. Shigehiko and I share a collective interest in the mechanisms that control blood flow to the ageing human brain. During my fellowship, we have performed ‘shared’ experiments both in Toyo and in my laboratory in the UK to determine how exercise alters the way a person thinks, concentrates, formulates ideas, reasons and remembers (cognition) with a specific focus on free radicals (invisible molecules in the circulation) and how they control the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the brain. 

This is especially important since long-term exercise may improve cognition given its ability to decrease free radicals preventing blood vessels that supply the brain from fully opening up (endothelial dysfunction). We think that fewer free radicals and improved endothelial function can turn back the brain's ‘hands-of-time’ and make it function as if it were younger, helping delay or event prevent the ravages of dementia.” 

Through being awarded the JSPS fellowship, Professor Damian Bailey has been fortunate to meet with other world-leading Japanese scientists and given formal presentations in multiple universities across Japan, exposing him to different ways of thinking and introduced him to complementary experimental techniques that can help us better understand the neuroprotective benefits of physical activity.

“In addition to hard work, prospective fellows should also take advantage of the sightseeing opportunities and explore this fascinating country, defined by a multifaceted mix of cultural extremes ranging from the ancient to the technologically cutting-edge modern. I have found the Japanese to be an incredibly proud, loyal, respectful and industrious race with whom you can form long-lasting relationships

In closing, this fellowship has proven to be a truly memorable and productive experience that has served as a catalyst to further extend my collaborations with world-leading Japanese scientists.” 

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